Well, that was an unfortunate disappointment. Just got my ND filter in (finally), and wow this thing is a disaster.

As the story goes…  buy quality out the gate, or you pay more when you arrive.

Couldn’t be truer here. From the good old Ebay, I purchased a “Fader Variable ND Filter (Adjustable ND2 to ND400) 58mm.” Do not purchase this if you want consistent light intake across the frame. See picture below for an example of what I mean and what occurs with this “filter”.

Whats sad is I have been excitedly awaiting the deliver of this item for over a week, with a 3 day overdue delay in delivery. Got it in, rotated it a bit while eyeballing through and was ready to give it a trial run.

To the lake I went. I walked a little ways down the front till I arrived at a little spot I have been scouting with outcropping rocks a great little nook to set up and wonderful crashing waves. I proudly attached this little piece of (well I’ll get to that soon)… piece of something to my Canon 28-105, posted up and began firing.

With the moth wing like effect that I witnessed on my first frame, I knew something was amiss. I optimistically adjusted some settings, rotating the fader a bit (thinking this would actually matter) and fired a few more, just for good measure.

Alas, failure was all to be had. (See screen grab below for some small examples of the vain attempts to resolve the circular banding.

So anyway, I fired a few shots on my own accord (without the lens) to at least grab something worth while to bring home. I then packed up and came home, crossing my fingers that maybe, just maybe, I had one shot from this series of failures that would actually be usable. This was a lost hope to be honest, because such inconsistencies showing already in my LCD were by no means going to magically disappear upon my arrival at my desk.

Well, thats that… back to the drawing board and the online stores. Looks like a B+W 110 or Hoya NDX400 will be in my near future.

Read in good ppls, there are somethings that we can skip quality for price on… but others (case in point here) you simply should NEVER skimp on the previously experienced success stories. Otherwise you end up with a wasted photo trip to the beach.

Till then, here are the failures.

PS: this has also inspired me to initiate a new G+ photo album “Trials and Tribulations” where I intend on putting up failed picture and equipment attempts. We all have them and more often than we would like to admit. As such, I think it only fitting to show these off so others can heed the stumbles I have taken.